In the preceding post in this series I defined the Ennis Gambit thus:
« Ennis manages to paint a picture of the transcendent philosophers in the very terms that the OOOxians use to describe themselves »
The key concept there was the accusation against the post-Kantians of taking a perverse pleasure in chasing uncatchable noumenal ghosts which a simple citation from THE THIRD TABLE showed to be a very close description of Graham Harman’s position as he describes it in virtually the same words:
“We can only be hunters of objects, and must even be non-lethal hunters since objects can never be caught. The world is filled primarily … with ghostly objects withdrawing from all human and inhuman access” (THE THIRD TABLE, p12).
Ennis virtually confirms this reading, but with attenuating qualifications, when he says:
« if this attitude is explicit for continental thinkers might it not simply be currently implicit within speculative realism ».
My quotation shows that at least for Harman this attitude of perverse enjoyment in chasing noumenal ghosts is quite explicit, and he even baptises it with the name of « erotic model », so the « logic of jouissance » is explicitly endorsed.
SELF-CRITICISM: After seeing myself discussed as some crazy guy who abominably misread Ennis’s post, I no longer have the heart to continue this series to the end. To sum up the rational core of what I have been saying:
1) OOO would be an easy target for a Laruellian critique, but Ennis does not take this path, though he indicates his intention to do so in the future. I look forward to such a critique as I consider that Deleuze and Feyerabend give us the material for a non-laruellian non-philosophical critique. I have been pursuing my own version of non-philosophy for some time now and am curious to see what people can do with Laruelle. I think that Laruelle’s ANTI-BADIOU is a truly brilliant book, far superior to Badiou’s
ANTI-DELEUZE. In this book Laruelle pulls no punches, and I find myself in harmony with that sort of critique.
2) I think that Harman’s ontology is one of transcendence, and that Bryant’s insofar as it concords with Harman’s meta-categories is one of transcendence too, even if he fills in these meta-categories with immanent categoreal content. Laruelle, once again, is quite good on these mixes of transcendence nad immanence that give themselves out as philosophies of immanence. My point of view is, however, purely Feyerabendian: these ontologies are far too constraining on matters that only empirical, though not necessarily scientific, research can decide. In this light Bryant’s post festum Lacanian lessons on immanence seem unjustified in content and comic in form (Lacan’s graph of sexuation as a lesson in immanence).
3) I am appalled by the impoverished account of the history of philosophy that Meillassoux promotes via his bogus concept of « correlationism ». Harman repeats his illiterate idea that epistemology is all about access without feeling the need to cite one major, or even minor, epistemologist. Bryant seems to enrich this discussion by talking about lots more continental figures. But he seems to think that Bhaskar is an important epistemologist, and he glibly proposes Lacan as a thinker of immanence while elaborating a « Deleuzian » machinic ontology. So he is a very unreliable narrator indeed.
4) That’s the one I’m doing now
5) I was going to have lots of fun with the notion of self-withdrawn objects and with the surprising idea that ontotheology relies on the idea of a transcendent non-self-withdrawn entity. This is ludicrous. Un-self-withdrawnness is in no way a necessary condition of transcendence. This is a surreptitious way of redefining the debate on ontotheology so as to make it true by definition that only OOO is an ontology of immanence.
So there you are, I managed to reconstruct what I wanted to say in its grand lines without offending Paul Ennis personally, nor even offending his sense of philosophical style. But I had less fun and feel that something is missing.